Some quick post-Oscar thoughts…



The Oscars are my Superbowl and Ellen was my MVP. I loved her from start to finish. I didn’t miss the mean-spirited pop culture references that hosts of old used to throw out there. She was true to form and made me laugh. Not her fault that the show ran long. I hope they ask her back next year.  The ratings are up by about a million, which is a tribute to her talent and popularity.


One Giant Step Forward…

Last night signified a huge milestone both for the country and the entertainment industry; Ellen was only the second woman to host (after Whoopi) the Academy Awards, and certainly the first openly gay person to do so. I love that the camera focused on proud girlfriend Portia and proud mom Betty a few times; I certainly don’t recall ever seeing Billy Crystal’s wife during his stint as host. And although I’m sure there were folks who were less than thrilled with Ellen hosting and Melissa Etheridge’s smooch and speech combo…I don’t care. It was a momentous occasion for them and for the worldwide audience. I couldn’t stop smiling; it made my day that Melissa kissed and then thanked her wife. The woman won an Oscar, it was her moment, and she did what came naturally, just as all other winners do.  A few months ago, Grey’s Anatomy actor T.R. Knight made a statement when he publicly came out: “I hope the fact that I’m gay isn’t the most interesting part of me.” I believe that Ellen and Melissa would agree with that wholeheartedly.  


Just a Thought…

I wonder who would win an arm-wrestling match, Jada Pinkett Smith or Jessica Biel?


“Original” Score?

I love the CD and the artist, but does anyone else find it odd that the main theme song from Babel, Gustavo Santaolalla’s song “Iguazu,” is from the Deadwood soundtrack (which was released a year earlier than the Babel soundtrack)? If a song is recycled/repurposed, how does it qualify for Original Score?


Favorite Moments

Arkin’s win

Whitaker’s speech

Melissa Etheridge’s win & speech

Pilobolus (the dance troupe who formed the iconic movie images)

Scorsese’s win

The sound effects choir

Jack Black, John C. Reilly & Will Ferrell


And now, for more trivial observations…


Awkward Moment of the Night

Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst presenting together. The animosity between them was visible…and entertaining. Rewind your TiVO and watch for her shoulder bump, followed by his stink-eye glance askew at her, and then her head turn/stink-eye at him right before they roll the nominees on screen. I know they were there to promote Spiderman 3 (as if that is even necessary), but these ex’s are clearly uncomfortable sharing the same few feet of space.


Of course it’s on YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=fBkujAxCMs0


In Need Of a Hairbrush


Cameron Diaz

Robert Downey, Jr.

Philip Seymour Hoffman


Attire Analysis


Bed, Bath, and WAY Beyond: Drapes as Dresses


Kirsten Dunst



Blue is the new Black (and I like it)

Emily Blunt

Portia de Rossi

Ellen Degeneres’ navy ensemble with vest

Melissa Etheridge’s tuxedo jacket

Jodie Foster

Maggie Gyllenhaal


Bow, Hell No!

Anne Hathaway

Nicole Kidman



Cate Blanchett

Daniel Craig

Leonardo DiCaprio

Djimon Hounsou

Diane Keaton (no pantsuits or high collars!)

Queen Latifah

Helen Mirren

Kate Winslet

Reese Witherspoon


Memo: “Flesh is Not a Flattering Color”

Penelope Cruz

Gwyneth Paltrow



Jessica Biel

Abigail Breslin (regardless of her age, someone should have prevented her from wearing an Easter Basket)

Cameron Diaz

Eva Green

Jennifer Hudson’s sci-fi/tanning foil jacket

Quincy Jones

Anika Noni Rose

Kelly Preston

Naomi Watts

Rachel Weisz

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Patricia Clarkson

James Gandolfini

Anthony Hopkins

Jude Law

Sean Penn

Mark Ruffalo

Kate Winslet


How on earth is a film starring this list of seriously talented actors so painful to watch? Based on the cast alone, last year I predicted it to be an Oscar contender come this Sunday.



Horrible New Orleans accents and poor pacing are only two of the reasons why I actually turned it off less than halfway through. It is VERY rare that I abandon a movie, especially one that features (however briefly) my favorite, Kate Winslet. Sadly, I found myself thinking about how much Sean Penn and his hair resemble Patrick Dempsey most of the time



Director Steven Zallian should stick to screenwriting; he won an Academy Award for writing Schindler’s List, and earned two other nominations for Gangs of New York and Awakenings.  He has also scripted The Falcon and the Snowman, Clear and Present Danger,Hannibal and The Interpreter, among others.


Of the many Producers on this film, one name stands out: Todd Phillips, who directed Old School and co-wrote Borat. Random.


Current Oscar nominee and comeback kid Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children) has a small role in the movie as well. Not much else is at all notable.

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Expectations for this show are too high. We are spoiled. Not every episode is going to be action packed and answer the questions posed from the previous week. The producers of the show actually listened to the fans and busted their ass to give us 16 episodes in a row without reruns. And every single episode is produced at such high quality that it feels like each week we are treated to a one hour movie. So I, for one, am not complaining. I love it and will stick by the show until the very last scene of the series finale.


I have a feeling that last night’s episode will divide the devoted into two parties: those who love answers to longstanding questions, and those who are frustrated and/or impatient by new characters and island developments.


{Pop Culture Aside: Lost creator JJ Abrams directed tonight’s episode of The Office!}


Here are my weekly thoughts and theories:


The title of the episode obviously refers to both Jack in Thailand and Jack being held captive by the Others.


By repeatedly stating that the kidnapped Tail Section children are “in a better place,” do the Others mean that they rescued the kids from growing up on the beach, and provided them with food, housing, clothing and education?


There were other people with flight attendant Cindy and the kids who were observing Jack in his cage. Are they also Tail Section survivors? Are they on the Otherville Jury? Is that why they were observing Jack? Have they been observing the entire time? If so, hopefully they shielded the children’s eyes when Kate and Saywer had their little jungle fling!



Where has Sheriff Isabel been? Does she sit and watch everything and lord over all Others, or is she connected in any way to the infamous Jacob and his list? If Ben was able to stay Juliet’s execution, is Isabel second in charge?



Ben told Jack that his bedside manner left something to be desired, which is exactly what Jack’s Dad told him when he was talking to his future wife Sarah after her car accident.


Ethan was one hell of a menacing surgeon. Why send your community’s only real doctor to harass plane crash survivors and kidnap a pregnant woman? Ethan must also be the village handyman. We saw him fixing Juliet’s plumbing earlier this season.


Achara told Jack that he was a leader, which is ironic because Jack told Locke early on in Season 1 that he wasn’t a leader. She also told Jack he was a great man, which is how Ben (as Henry Gale) described his leader when asked about him while he was being held prisoner in the Hatch.


Achara had a gift – a visionary of sorts. Obviously many folks on the island have similar gifts or their lives have been affected by people with the same gift: Claire and her psychic, Desmond’s new psychic abilities, etc.


Let’s see…we learn that Achara is a tattoo artist of sorts, and then we see that Juliet gets branded. Perhaps Achara is on the island as the Official Branding Artist of Otherville.


The brand that the Others burned into Juliet’s lower back kind of resembles the map that Locke saw on the back of the Hatch blast door – it has eight branches and the long stem could signify the underwater hatch that we have yet to see.



They never explained the rest of Jack’s tattoo. We really only saw the origins of the bottom half.  There is a number 5, which could represent the 5 seconds he counts before letting the fear go while operating. (In real life, however, it represents Party of Five, as that is Matthew Fox’s real tattoo and he has said as much).



Yeah, that was very nice of Tom to hold an umbrella over Ben before boarding the boat. I think my theory about him and Ben from last week is going to prove to be correct. Then again, he wasn’t on that boat leaving with Ben at the end…


There was a large boat awaiting Jack, Juliet and Ben in the distance (much bigger and longer than the tug boat that Michael and Walt were ‘released’ to go home in). So how is it that the survivors on the beach don’t hear that engine? And where are they getting fuel?



Did anyone else find it funny or strange that Jack is a spinal surgeon who can’t put together a simple kite?


Karl has never heard of The Brady Bunch. Like Ben, he must have grown up on the island.


Karl mentioned that he and Alex named a constellation the Teddy Bear. The Tail Section survivor kids had one with them, and we also saw a barefoot Other dragging one behind last season when Eko and Jin were hiding in the bushes.



Is Alex really Ben’s daughter? Did he kidnap her from Rousseau when she was a baby? Why does she call him Ben and not Dad?


If the Others really do have a submarine (which the producers confirmed although I’ll believe it when I see it), why on earth take a patient recovering from spinal surgery on a sailboat and then a motor boat?


At the end of the episode, were Jack and Juliet headed ‘home,’ where Ben promised they would both be released to go? Or were they headed back to Otherville, where Ben calls home, the Stepford village we saw earlier in the season?



Crazy Theory of the Week

Jack is an Other. He was recruited for a job before the crash…but maybe he didn’t know what for (similar to how Mittelos wooed Juliet). Think about it – he is a doctor, Juliet is a doctor, and the Others always seem to be looking for medical staff. Also, regardless of the fact that he was a prisoner, everything he demanded from the Others, he received: he told Ben to stop Juliet’s execution, he told Alex to let him out of his cage, etc.


Isabel translates his tattoo as follows: “He walks amongst us but he is not one of us.” Perhaps that refers to Jack when he is among the other crash survivors. [FYI, there are claims that the real interpretation is “Eagles high, cleaving sky.” Which of course alludes to the airplane, the kite, etc.]

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[Last August, I compiled a list of Favorite Television Characters Ever. Since that time I have modified it only slightly, and have decided to elaborate.]


Believe it or not, my world does not revolve entirely around a bunch of strangers with daddy and guilt issues who crashed onto a mysterious island. Lost isn’t even the first show I’ve been obsessed with (for years, I lived and breathed all things X-Files). I have a tendency to dive into a fair number of shows and discuss them with such fervor that friends and family tend to look at me askew and wonder privately if I have a life. Thankfully, I am also surrounded by people who speak the same language; who animatedly overanalyze and speculate about water-cooler shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Lost and The Office with me at length.


That being said, I’m going to break down exactly what I love about my favorite characters and personalities on television. Because although I do have a life, I also maintain a lifelong fascination and virtual relationship with a select group of primarily fictitious characters.


Before any of you fanatics jump all over my back about glaring omissions, keep in mind that I don’t actually have time to watch all popular shows and fan favorites like 24, Battlestar Galactica, CSI or Gilmore Girls.

And yes, I’m aware a large number of my selections are from two camps: JJ Abrams and HBO.

So here is my updated list, with photos. Alphabetically, of course…



What’s not to love? She’s the boss but also the soul of the show.



I can’t quite figure out why she’s my favorite Hero, but I look forward to her story each week. Perhaps it’s because we’re watching the demise of her innocence as she is exposed to the darker world of her fellow friends with power.



For me, Bones has been the perfect replacement for my beloved Scully; all business but with serious chemistry simmering just beneath the surface between her and her partner (David Boreanz, who is a sexier version of Mulder).



He is so visibly conflicted and twitchy. That seething mustache snarl alone makes my day.



The ass-kicking + the outfits + the tech talk = Hot. 



A hero of mine since childhood, I would run to the mirror after each episode to attempt to mimic her facial expressions.



On top of the infamous dancing and that hair, she was the real star of the show.



No one else can slur words with such fortitude. I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a TV drunk so much.



No other show or actress captured and epitomized the awkward teenage years better.



Complicated and moody. The perfect undertaker’s daughter.



Every show should have a resident geek who comes to the rescue with such heart and loyalty.  



Two words: never nude.



Creepy, surprising, and spectacularly acted.



What a mess of a man. Leary fits and fills the role like no other.



Perhaps it is because Piven embodies (to those of us outside of the industry) my perception of a real Hollywood agent. Or perhaps it is because no one chews up and spits out the scenery better or with more energy than Piven.



An obvious choice, but I’m on his bandwagon. I only wish I were as capable of clever office pranks and lingering glances that speak volumes.



An enigma. I love that I have no idea what his real story is, nor the direction he’ll take us next on the show. In my opinion, he is the most important character on the show, and the key to all answers on the island and beyond.



There are no characters currently on television quite like Dexter, a blood splatter analyst-by-day/vigilante-murderer-by-night. You will find yourself entirely enthralled and entertained by Hall; he is miles away from David on Six Feet Under, which is an impressive feat.    



Just a great character played by an amazing actor. Powerful and mesmerizing.



She’s a writer, she’s sarcastic, and the only character I have ever liked or related to in any way during all four seasons of this frustrating show.



Besides the fact that her character shares my first name, she was also a tomboy, which made her the very first person on television that I ever related to on any level.



Oh how I long for the days of dormitory misadventures and melodrama with Felicity and her friends. For the record, I was on Team Noel from day one. Oh, and I liked the short hair.



The most memorably menacing and vile character in recent television history. A complete monster, Simmons just nails it as the walking embodiment of evil.



Easily my favorite of all time. What can I say; I have a thing for scientists.  



He wasn’t on my list until the beginning of Season 3. His intensity is quite palpable and convincing.




It’s as if we were watching a vat of water boil over with great fury. Fantastic.



A long-suffering wife no longer, she owns every scene and is phenomenal.



The eyes, the swagger, the language. One of my favorite shows of all time, and we only got three seasons. Very disappointing.  



The industry can pat itself on the back as much as they want for the inclusion of gay and lesbian characters on popular shows, but never before has a show featured such a positive, everyday gay lead character like Kevin Walker. He is not a stereotype in any way, and it is refreshing to see his relationships explored in the same light as his television siblings’.



She is giving an Emmy-worthy performance as the matriarch in this criminally underrated series about family. I love all scenes between her and Calista Flockhart. The most welcome return to television in years.

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Before I begin this week’s installment of overanalysis and conspiracy theories, I would like to state that last night’s episode ranks in my Top 5 Best Episodes of Lost Ever. Wow. It was unconventional and fantastic.


Just an FYI: some serious Lost fans reversed the audio during last week’s Clockwork Orange scene with Carl, and the phrase “Only fools are enslaved by time and space” is repeated. It’s creepy, and is not a hoax; clearly the Producers are aware of the tech savvy nature of their rabid fans and purposefully inserted that little Easter Egg.


As for last night’s episode…


Let’s start with the title, ‘Flashes Before Your Eyes.’ It’s not Flashes Before HIS Eyes, which makes me think that Desmond isn’t the only one who has time traveled on that island. Or does the title refer to the flashes that everyone on the island saw when Desmond turned that key beneath the hatch?




The scene where Desmond is talking to Pawn Shop Lady on the bench is quite similar to The Matrix Reloaded, right down to Neo talking with The Oracle on the bench and offering candy (Pawn Shop Lady offers Desmond some chestnuts).


When Desmond was with Pawn Shop Lady, they witnessed a man being crushed in an accident. Another Wizard of Oz shout out (remember that the witch was crushed beneath the house). And the dearly departed in last night’s episode was wearing red shoes just like Dorothy and her infamous ruby red slippers.


When Desmond woke up in the red paint and it looked like blood, I immediately remembered the scene in the Wachowski Brothers’ film Bound when Joe Pantoliano was shot on a floor full of spilled white paint [unfortunately, I could not find a screen capture of this online].




Now that we know that Charlie is doomed, don’t be surprised if Sun finds out that Charlie was the one who assaulted her last season. Perhaps Jin plays a role in Charlie’s death…


When Sawyer returns to the beach after escaping Other Island, he won’t be thrilled with the fact that someone pillaged his stash. If he finds out that it was Charlie, add him to the list of suspects who may contribute to his demise. Or, for revenge, Sawyer could tell Jin that Charlie was the one who attacked Sun (Sawyer is the only person who knows about Charlie’s incident).




Did you notice that most of Desmond’s flashback was not accompanied by the usual Lost flashback sound effect? Right away, I knew were in store for something completely different.


It would be easy to say that none of what Desmond experienced actually happened, that it was a figment of his imagination while knocked out from the hatch explosion. It would also be too convenient to say that Pawn Shop Lady represented his subconscious. I prefer to think that the turning of that key and hatch implosion erased and/or froze an unspecified amount of time on the island; the results of which we will see unfold during the rest of this season. Remember, there is one fact that favors my theory – that Mittelos (the company that tried to recruit Juliet last week) is an anagram for Lost Time.


There are now at least three castaways that Desmond supposedly interacted with before the crash of Flight 815: Charlie (who was outside of Widmore Industries playing guitar for donations after Desmond’s interview), Jack (whom he ran into while jogging at a stadium), and Libby/Elizabeth (who gave him her boat for the race that ultimately brought him to the island). Is Desmond going to be the one who has connections to every last survivor from that plane?


It is not mere coincidence that Desmond woke up in the jungle disoriented in almost the exact same way that Lost began in the Pilot episode with Jack (in the same position lying in the jungle looking up). The focus was on Desmond’s eyes as he first came to, just as it was on Jack’s.


Just how far in the future can Desmond see? Will he continue trying to alter the fates of others (i.e. Charlie) on the island? Will this power last, or is it a temporary condition due to hatch explosion concussion? Will he be able to flash forward as well as back?


Will Desmond’s rescue of Claire lead to a new love triangle? She sure seemed interested in him after his heroic efforts. Oh, and she’s certainly had plenty of experience with psychics…


Love the appropriate use of Sarah McLachlan’s song ‘Building a Mystery’ after Desmond woke up in his apartment with Penny.


Back in Season One, Locke predicted rain before it occurred. Just like Desmond during his flashback last night in London.


Penny told Desmond she loved him because he was a ‘good man.’  Yet another reference to ‘good’ people, which the Others are quite interested in.


Locke, the island’s resident man of faith, will be thrilled – Pawn Shop Lady’s speech to Desmond was all about ‘the path of destiny’ and fate.  


So if Desmond really visited his past, wouldn’t that mean that his friend Donovan from the pub would know about the island and then tell Penny about it when Desmond went missing? And since Donovan is a physicist, perhaps that’s why Penny knew to put together a team to search for an electromagnetic anomaly…


Last week Juliet revealed that she’d been on the island for just over three years. According to Desmond during his flashback, he was on the island for three years. That would place their arrivals around the same time, which would be an interesting twist. We know that Desmond supposedly washed up on shore after his boat crashed in a storm, but they have not yet explained just how Juliet wound up there…




Nice polar bear on the painting in Mr. Widmore’s office, which looked suspiciously like the mural on the original hatch wall.  Oh, and the word ‘namaste’ (which is said at the end of each Orientation Film) is also painted backwards at the top of the painting. I’m starting to think that Widmore Industries funds all things Dharma and/or Hanso.


Widmore must also be an investor with Oceanic Airlines. Sawyer stole both a bottle of Widmore’s favorite expensive whiskey from the wreckage of Flight 815, and a Widmore Pregnancy Test (which Sun wound up using to confirm that she was with child).


Mr. Widmore is yet another manifestation of major Daddy issues. Sun’s dad was as mean to Jin as Widmore was to Desmond. Jack, Kate, Locke and Sawyer all had problems with their fathers too, not to mention Walt with Michael.



All in all, I absolutely loved this episode. I simply do not understand those who have given up on Lost. As a true fan, I’ve never experienced a show that gets stronger with each season, let alone one that keeps me on the edge of my seat with such anticipation every week. It is very sad that the ratings have dropped, and I’m hoping that can be attributed to the large numbers of iTunes downloads and free ABC.com viewings rather than the loss of the Lost faithful.

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